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What happened just minutes before the Tata board meeting

By Nivedita Mookerji
October 28, 2016 12:02 IST
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Ahead of the board meeting that afternoon, in fact only minutes before that, then chairman Cyrus Mistry was given an opportunity to step down, it is learnt. But, Mistry declined

Developments in the boardroom of Tata Sons, located on the fourth floor of Bombay House, which left the corporate world stunned on Monday, seemed to have begun from a corner room.

Ahead of the board meeting that afternoon, in fact only minutes before that, then chairman Cyrus Mistry was given an opportunity to step down, it is learnt.

But, Mistry declined.  When the board voted in favour of a resolution to replace the chairman and then backed another to bring in Emeritus Chairman Ratan Tata as interim chairman, the 48-year-old Mistry called the process “illegal” and is believed to have left the meeting while proceedings were still on.

Indeed, the agenda of the board meeting circulated to directors did not give any indication of what was coming. A source said during the half hour meeting, no subject was taken up other than the “change” at the top.

The meeting is believed to have begun and ended with the single agenda, replacing Mistry and inducting Tata as the interim chief till a new chairman is found by a selection committee.

While the age cap of 70 years was done away with through another resolution so that 78-year-old Tata could be chairman, another important decision was taken by the board that afternoon.

Chief operating officer Farokh Nariman Subedar was entrusted with financial powers for running the group till regulatory clearances were obtained for Tata to do so, it is learnt.

Photograph: PTI Photo

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Nivedita Mookerji in New Delhi
Source: source
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